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Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde   By: (1854-1900)

Book cover

First Page:

SELECTED PROSE OF OSCAR WILDE

Contents:

Preface by Robert Ross How They Struck a Contemporary The Quality of George Meredith Life in the Fallacious Model Life the Disciple Life the Plagiarist The Indispensable East The Influence of the Impressionists on Climate An Exposure to Naturalism Thomas Griffiths Wainewright Wainewright at Hobart Town Cardinal Newman and the Autobiographers Robert Browning The Two Supreme and Highest Arts The Secrets of Immortality The Critic and his Material Dante the Living Guide The Limitations of Genius Wanted A New Background Without Frontiers The Poetry of Archaeology The Art of Archaeology Herod Suppliant The Tetrarch's Remorse The Tetrarch's Treasure Salome anticipates Dr. Strauss The Young King A Coronation The King of Spain A Bull Fight The Throne Room A Protected Country The Blackmailing of the Emperor Covent Garden A Letter from Miss Jane Percy to her Aunt The Triumph of American 'Humor' The Garden of Death An Eton Kit cat Mrs. Erlynne Exercises the Prerogative of a Grandmother Motherhood more than Marriage The Damnable Ideal From a Rejected Prize essay The Possibilities of the Useful The Artist The Doer of Good The Disciple The Master The House of Judgment The Teacher of Wisdom Wilde gives directions about 'De Profundis' Carey Street Sorrow wears no mask Vita Nuova The Grand Romantic Clapham Junction The Broken Resolution Domesticity at Berneval A visit to the Pope

DEDICATION

This anthology is dedicated to Michael Lykiardopulos as a little token of his services to English Literature in the great Russian Empire.

PREFACE

With the possible exceptions of the Greek Anthology, the "Golden Treasury" and those which bear the name of E. V. Lucas, no selections of poetry or prose have ever given complete satisfaction to anyone except the compiler. But critics derive great satisfaction from pointing out errors of omission and inclusion on the part of the anthologist, and all of us have putatively re arranged and re edited even the "Golden Treasury" in our leisure moments. In an age when "Art for Art's sake" is an exploded doctrine, anthologies, like everything else, must have a purpose. The purpose or object of the present volume is to afford admirers of Wilde's work the same innocent pleasure obtainable from similar compilations, namely that of reconstructing a selection of their own in their mind's eye for copyright considerations would interfere with the materialisation of their dream.

A stray observation in an esteemed weekly periodical determined the plan of this anthology and the choice of particular passages. The writer, whose name has escaped me, opined that the reason the works of Pater and Wilde were no longer read was owing to both authors having treated English as a dead language. By a singular coincidence I had purchased simultaneously with the newspaper a shilling copy of Pater's "Renaissance," published by Messrs. Macmillan; and a few days afterwards Messrs. Methuen issued at a shilling the twenty eighth edition of "De Profundis." Obviously either Messrs. Macmillan and Messrs. Methuen or the authority on dead languages must have been suffering from hallucinations. It occurred to me that a selection of Wilde's prose might at least rehabilitate the notorious reputation for common sense enjoyed by all publishers, who rarely issue shilling editions of deceased authors for mere aesthetic considerations. And I confess to a hope that this volume may reach the eye or ear of those who have not read Wilde's books, or of those, such as Mr. Sydney Grundy, who are irritated by the revival of his plays and the praise accorded to his works throughout the Continent.

Wilde's prose is distinguished by its extraordinary ease and clarity, and by the absence very singular in his case of the preciosity which he admired too much in other writers, and advocated with over emphasis... Continue reading book >>




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